My Zero Waste Journey So Far

I started this journey towards zero waste about 3 years ago and have made a lot of progress but still have a long way to go. I thought it might be helpful if I documented some of the milestones, so I could have a better sense of where I am and where I want to go.

Changes I’ve Made


In The Bathroom

  • Conventional Toothpaste to Homemade
  • Plastic disposable toothbrush to compostable Bamboo Toothbrush
  • Plastic disposable razor to Stainless Steel Safety Razor

  • Shower Gel to Bar of Soap
  • Microbead scrubs to homemade salt/sugar scrubs
  • Feminine Hygiene artificial pads for reusable Bamboo menstrual pads
  • Factory produced lotions and creams in plastic containers to Homemade
  • Disposable cotton face wipes for washable reusable bamboo face wipes/pads

In The Kitchen:


  • Disposable artificial J-Cloths and scrubbers to Coconut Scrubbing brush and wooden brush
  • Artificial Sponges in kitchen and bathroom to Loofahs
  • Foraging for wild foods

  • Artificial coasters to wooden coasters
  • Artificial placemats to Slate placemats


  • Cartoons of Soya, Rice & Oat Milk to homemade Oat milk in glass bottle
  • Cartoons of various creams to homemade Chickpea cream
  • Plastic bin bags to Compostable bags


  • Tea bags to Loose Tea
  • Tupperware containers to glass and tins
  • Plastic electric kettle for stainless steel hob kettle

Out & About


  • Plastic Water Bottles to Stainless Steel & Bamboo Water Bottle
  • Plastic disposable Straw for Glass straw [waiting for bamboo straw to arrive]
  • Plastic disposable Cutlery for reusuable compostable Wheat Straw Cutlery set
  • Plastic bags for cotton & linen tote bags
  • Disposable Tissues for reusable cotton Hankies

Other Changes I’ve Made

  • Using 2 litre plastic milk containers as funnels, jugs, storage, planters…
  • Cereal boxes now recycled as drawer dividers and sorters. also reused as gift boxes
  • All glass jars reused for storage, organisation, homemade cosmetics…
  • Cardboard Egg cartons used to start off seeds
  • Resealable plastic bags used as freezer bags
  • Horse Chestnut soap used instead of conventional detergent [seasonal]


Changes I still want to Achieve

  • Swap plastic disposable biros for reusable bamboo&steel fountain pens
  • Start using Shampoo and conditioner bars
  • Make my own Beeswax Food wraps
  • Buy Tiffin tins/stainless steel canisters
  • Acquire a Glass tea infuser bottle


  • Make my own soap from left over oil
  • Acquire an oil lamp for emergencies

In Conclusion
I’ve had as many failures as successes over the last three years with my endavours to live in a more sustainable way but learnt as much from the failures, as I did the successes.Its been a remarkable and fascinating journey, often not easy but always rewarding. The sense of self-sufficiency, greater connection with the world around me and a greater awareness of how everything and everyone is connected.

I look forward to sharing my continuing adventure on the zero waste journey with you. xx

P.S. Here is a short video of one of the inspiring zero wasters I follow that sum up how I feel perfectly!


How to Make Tasty Chickpea Tofu, Zero Waste Chickpea Hair Mask and Fabulous Flax Milk


I recently discovered the many amazing benefits and uses of Chickpeas and the more I find out, the more I’m amazed. Chickpeas really are a wonder food.

Chickpeas help to increase satiety(feeling full), boost digestion, keep blood sugar levels stable, increase protection against disease and more. Called Besan or gram flour, chickpea flour is naturally gluten free, and if there’s one food trend we think everyone can agree is here to stay, it’s gluten-free eating! It’s also high in protein, iron and fibre.


Look for dried chickpeas in the “bulk bin” section of your favourite health food store, where you will likely be able to find organic dried beans for sale at a very low cost. Dried beans remain fresh for a long time, so you don’t need to worry about buying too much and having them spoil.


It’s best to soak all dried beans overnight prior to cooking them, which helps to make them more digestible, to aid in absorbing their nutrients, and to decrease cooking time. Keep some dried beans in your kitchen for whenever you have some extra time to cook.


Tofu sets in about an hour and is soft and pillowy, with that slightly nutty chickpea flavour that I love.

The wonderful thing about this chickpea tofu recipe, apart from the fact that it’s a wonderful soy free alternative to tofu, is that it is also budget friendly too. Chickpea flour is relatively cheap especially if you are able to source it from an Indian grocer.tofuprocess

How To Make Tasty Chickpea Tofu

Chickpea flour is mixed with water to form a smooth batter. The batter thickens into a thick custard like consistency which sets and can be easily sliced.

You can use it as a substitute for soy tofu in many recipes. It does well in curries, tossed in dressing, in wraps, salads, also makes a great morning scramble, or egg salad!, breaded tofu etc.


Blend the chickpea flour water and spices into a smooth batter.

Cook over medium heat. the batter will start to get lumpy after a minute or so.

Keep stirring frequently.

The batter will eventually thicken evenly and become custard like.

Cook for another 2 minutes so the chickpea flour is cooked through.


You can taste the mix carefully at this point to ensure that the chickpea flour doesn’t taste raw and adjust salt if needed. the mixture will also start to come away from the pan

Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and even it out using a spatula if needed. Let it cool, then refrigerate for at least an hour to set.

Remove the set slab from the pan.

Slice into cubes.

Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

The tofu can leak some moisture while it sits. drain and use.

Zero Waste Nourishing Chickpea Hair Mask


Top 10 Hair Care Benefits of Chickpeas/Besan

#1 Hair cleansing
This all-natural product is an excellent hair cleansing agent.

  • Make a runny paste of besan and water, and apply it to your hair.
  • Wash it out after 5-10 minutes for clean, shiny and chemical-free hair.
  • Make sure the paste isn’t too thick, or else you’ll have lumps stuck in your strands.

#2 For hair growth
Besan is a chemical-free product and it helps nourish hair in ways that no hair-growth shampoo will. Use gram flour for hair that bounces with health and beauty.

  • Make a thick-ish besan pack and apply it on your hair.
  • Wash it off thoroughly after 15-20 minutes.

#3 To prevent hair fall
Besan is not only good for hair growth, but it also prevents and stops hair fall.

  • Just whip up a hair pack using besan and half a bowl of curd
  • Apply this mixture to your hair
  • Do it regularly and you will notice a dramatic reduction in hair fall.

#4 For Healthy Hair
If you want nourished, healthy hair and do not believe in off-the-shelf treatments, try besan.

#5 For Long Hair
If hair is healthy and strong, it will grow long. By using besan regularly, as a cleanser or as a hair pack, you can get the long hair that you’ve always dreamed of but didn’t manage because of damaged strands.

  • You can make a deep-nourishing hair pack with besan, almond powder, curd, and 1 teaspoon olive oil.
  • Coat your hair with this mask and wash off after it dries.
  • Do this twice a week for quick results.

#6 To fight dryness
Besan and curd is also a good way to beat dryness. Use this mask regularly for softer hair.

#7 For shiny hair
You can’t beat the result of hair coated with besan and washed with water drained from cooked rice. The shine that you get is unbeatable.

#8 As a natural conditioner
When you wash your hair with the besan runny paste, you don’t need to use a conditioner. The natural properties of besan will leave you with soft, manageable hair.

#9 To control frizz
If most shampoos and conditioners leave your hair frizzy and dry, opt for a besan wash instead to control frizz.

#10 To fight dandruff
Besan fights and controls dandruff, making it an essential component of your regular beauty regime. You can also use Head & Shoulders Smooth & Silky Shampoo for severe dandruff and then continue to use besan.

Homemade-Hair-Masks-for-womenTo Make The Hair Mask

Make a besan hair pack by mixing 1 egg white, 2 teaspoons besan, 1 teaspoon curd and ½ a teaspoon lemon juice.

Apply this paste to your hair all the way to the tips.

Wash it off with water after it dries. It may take several rinses to remove all the residues.

If any residues remains,it will brush out easily once the hair is dry.

flaxmilk-recipeHow To Make Fabulous Flax Milk


      1/2 cup (150g) flax seeds, any colour

        4.5 cups (~1L) cold water

          Maple syrup, vanilla, or dates for sweetening (optional)


            Rinse flax seeds.

              Place the seeds and cold water into the blender.

                Blend seeds on high for 1 minute, rest for 1 minute.

                  Blend for 2 more minute, rest for 5 minutes.

                    Blend for 30 seconds.

                      Pour liquid through cloth or sieve and into large bowl, separating the pulp and the milk.

                        Be sure to squeeze the pulp by hand or using a spoon to ensure you extract all the milk out of the cloth/ strainer.

                          Rinse out blender and pour strained liquid back into blender.

                            Pulse milk for 30 seconds.

                              If you wish to sweeten the milk, add a dash of maple syrup, vanilla, or 1-2 dates to the milk and blend together until well combined.

                                Using a funnel, pour milk into an airtight glass container and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

                                  Shake bottle well before each use

                                      No Waste!! To Use The Pulp left over:

                                        Spread the flax seed pulp onto a metal cookie tray.

                                          Bake the pulp in the oven on low heat (~150° F/ 65° C) until dry, between 1-2 hours.

                                            To make flax flour, transfer dry pulp to a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds – 1 minute.

                                              Store flax flour in airtight jar in a cool, dark place.

                                                Add to smoothies, cereals, or baking recipes for a great source of fibre!

                                                Hummus-2Next Time

                                                I will be making sensational Chickpea Cream, Homemade Hummous and talking about Aquafaba: a revolutionary tale in the world of veganism! 🙂


                                                13 Ways to Grow Your Hair Long Faster Naturally


                                                So I don’t know about you but in the last four years, I’ve being having a lot of bad hair days, not just every other day or once in a while but like everyday, all the time.

                                                Unfortunately, I’m not Rapunzel, no matter how hard I wish, quite the opposite alas.

                                                Four years ago this September, I had a near fatal anaphylactic shock to kiwis in a smoothie [ah, the irony, trying to eat more healthy almost killed me!], which caused both physical and psychological trauma, which had a dramatic effect on my hair. To cut a long story short, on that day, my hair stopped growing.

                                                Not just growing quickly or healthily but point blank, stopped growing at all.

                                                In the last four years, I have tried diet, vitamins, fancy expensive hair treatments and even more expensive trips to hairdressers for professional advice.


                                                I changed my supermarket hair colours to health shop natural more gentle plant based hair colours.

                                                I have tried alternatives such as energy healing, reflexology, aromatherapy, meditation and even affirmations and listening to metaphysical healing videos at night.


                                                I have soaked my hair in oils, creams, mud masks..practically half the contents of my fridge!

                                                In the last year, I have been trying DIY methods to grow my hair, here are 13 of the things I’ve tried and how they worked out.

                                                1) Rice Water


                                                I heard that in Japan, Rice water is all the rage and is in everything from skin creams to hair tonics, so I decided to try it for myself.

                                                I cooked my rice as usual, then took the cloudy water left behind in the saucepan, put it in a jug and let it cool. After washing my hair as usual, I poured the rice water over my hair and wrapped a towel around it and left it on for a hour as recommended.


                                                I went to rinse it out and my hair was a matted mess. It took two rounds of shampoo and conditioner to finally detangle it. So, not one I shall be trying again.

                                                2) Coconut Milk & Coconut Oil


                                                I love the scent of coconuts and have became a BIG fan of Coconut oil and use it all the time. I have tried several variations of the above hair mask using coconut as the key ingredient and have had very mixed reactions.


                                                My hair looks all glossy and satiny soft for a few hours after but by the next day, it looks like I haven’t washed it in weeks.

                                                My hair does feel better but so far, using coconut milk or oil once a week hasn’t made any difference to my total lack of hair growth.

                                                3) Bread Soda


                                                I have grown to love Bread soda and use it for cleaning the house, stains on clothes and brushing my teeth, so it sounded like a good idea to use it for my hair.

                                                If you use a lot of products, its good to detox or clarify your hair every few weeks and bread soda is supposed to be super for that. Some people love it so much, they have stopped using shampoo and only use bread soda day in, day out.

                                                So, I found the simple recipe above and gave it a go. After rinsing out, my hair is bizarrely frizz central and I resemble someone who has stuck their hand into a live socket! Epic Disaster!


                                                4) Henna


                                                I have used Henna for years off and on but decided to go back to it, in the hopes it might help.

                                                I applied the henna paste as usual and washed out and then conditioned as usual.

                                                Result? Thick matted hair that took several washes to detangle, many hours of painful combing out and brittle ends the full length of my hair 😦

                                                Totally bizzare as in the past, Henna used to make my hair look and feel awesome but not anymore I guess…


                                                5) Red Onion


                                                I keep coming across articles from fellow bloggers raving about using onion juice to stimulate hair growth and how amazing it, so although I don’t like onions in general, I decided to give it a go.

                                                I peeled the top layer of my two red onions and then washed and roughly chopped them. I put them in the blender with some water and blended until it was a smooth texture.

                                                giphy (1)

                                                The first thing I noticed putting it on my hair was that it reeked to the point of making my eyes water.

                                                After only 15 minutes, my scalp started burning and I had to wash it off.

                                                It took several washes to get the smell out of my hair and any benefit from the onion must have been well washed off!

                                                I tried mixing it with coconut oil, I put essential oils in it…but it still reeked and still burned so that was that.

                                                6) Eggs


                                                I have only two words for this – Epic Fail!

                                                I whisked up the 2 eggs and rubbed it into my scalp. Left it on for twenty minutes and then tried washing it out and washed and washed…and washed!


                                                ***Rookie DIY Tip: Only use very cool water to rinse your hair after using a egg mask, or else you will literally end up with cooked egg on your head!***

                                                 7) Apple Cider Vinegar


                                                Using my own scrap apple cider vinegar recipe, after shampooing my hair as normal, I rinsed my hair with the vinegar and towel dried.

                                                It was quite refreshing and my hair felt cleaner and softer, while my scalp felt pleasantly cool.

                                                I didn’t like the scent but some essential oils helped with that and I have to say, I use this rinse once or twice a week and quite like it. My hair isn’t growing but it feels better.

                                                Hopefully one day, my hair will be like this:

                                                The Dream

                                                8) Yoghurt


                                                I know yogurt is packed full of protein and other good things so I tried the above as masks for my hair but again, really didn’t like the smell and found it very drying, so not for me alas.

                                                9) Banana


                                                Bananas always sound like a good idea, yummy to eat and packed full of nutrients but oh my word, they are a total nightmare to wash out of your hair!

                                                They smell fabulous and they are easy to make it onto a diy hair mask but after many washes to get it out of my hair, I ended up looking like this:


                                                10) Honey


                                                So honey, seemed a good idea but apart from turning my hair into something resembling a birds nest, it didn’t help at all, which was very disappointing as I had high hopes for it.

                                                11) Rosemary Oil


                                                One essential oil I have been using a lot for my hair is Rosemary. It smells nice and is super easy to use, I simply put a few drops into my usual shampoo, conditioner and hair masks or for extra benefit, occasionally, mix coconut oil and rosemary oil and rub it into my scalp, leave on overnight and then rinse in the morning.

                                                Hopefully with time, my hair will look like this girl’s mane:



                                                12) Aloe Vera Gel


                                                Aloe vera is supposed to be really moisturising for your hair so since I usually have some in the fridge, I tried it one evening. It felt very sticky but washed out easily enough. I didn’t see any difference, good or bad, so will maybe try this one again and see how it works out.


                                                13) Horsetail


                                                I have become a passionate forager for horsetail and out of everything I’ve tried, it is the best. It grows near water or marshy areas and is instantly recognisable.

                                                Its so easy to use, wash under the tap, twist the stems and place in a glass bowl. Pour boiling water over it and then use as a simple rinse when cool. Don’t throw your horsetail away, as you can usually get a second bowl from it.

                                                I’m not sure if it has helped my hair grow at all but it’s gorgeous verdant green colour and fresh clean scent make using it a delight.


                                                I still have many things to try yet for my hair, herbs like Amla, Beer, Fenugreek seeds, Castor Oil, Garlic juice…maybe I need to take a page out of John and Yoko’s book and have a ‘Bed In’ for Peace and maybe just maybe, if I get enough sleep, my hair might start to grow again…


                                                And one day, my hair will be like this:



                                                Why We Need to Believe in Dragons, Once Upon a Time and Fairies living at the Bottom of the Garden


                                                Why because the world would be a poorer place without magic, without Fairytales, without wonder, mystery and the power of the Imagination.

                                                Because we live in an age, where it seems everything can be explained by science, by facts that are taken as ultimate truths and yet many of these facts only become facts, if we believe in them, which leads me to wonder are they really facts at all?

                                                Can the truth be fully known, be fully discovered? Is one person’s truth another’s fiction? Are universal truths constructs of society, of mass belief?? Maybe.

                                                I’m a child of the 21st century, I’ve grown up in a world of mass media, social media, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Twitch…where everyone is online, all of the time, where everything is knowable and any question can be answered by Google in seconds.

                                                We know so much and yet there is still so much left to discover and this is what will save us.

                                                Many years ago, my brother wrote in a birthday card: ‘May all your dreams come true, save one, so you always have something to strive for’ and those words have stayed with me to this day and I wanted to share with you the thoughts they inspired in me.


                                                Despair, depression, self-harm and suicide continue to prevail in our world despite all the advances in human rights,  medicine, technology and all the other marvels of our modern age.

                                                Speaking as someone who has known the dark abyss of the human soul, I have come to believe that the answer may lie in our lost sense of wonder.

                                                It is only when we look with eyes anew at all the daily marvels around us, that a sense of hope, of empowerment and excitement can start to emerge. Think about how marvellous it is that with some taps on my laptop in a tiny apartment at the edge of the shore, I can communicate instantly with anyone, anywhere in the world. It is truly amazing.


                                                Belief in the extraordinary, in magic and fairytales can inspire us to strive to create a better word, a better future, to dream beyond the present, to dream beyond the blue sky to worlds amidst stars undiscovered as of yet.

                                                Neil Armstrong would have never set foot on the moon if we hadn’t looked up at the night sky for hundreds of years and wondered and dreamed.


                                                Belief in Once upon a Time, in heroes and heroines, who will rise from the ashes, defy the odds and save the day inspire us all and give us hope.

                                                When times are at their worst and the world is bleak and dark and all seems lost, stories of those who don’t give up, who fight for those they love, for freedom, for justice help us carry on, help us become more then we are, to be the best we can be, for one and another.

                                                Every child grows up hearing of once upon a time and how the prince finds his princess and they all live happily ever after and that is the dream. It can be a dangerous dream in that we may miss what is right in front of us but it can also motivate us to seek out adventure, romance, love, magic and without these, life would be meaningless. Love, hope and belief are as essential to life as breathing.


                                                The popularity of shows such as ‘Once Upon a Time’, ‘Grimm’, ‘Game of Thrones’ and films like ‘The Hunger Games’, the Marvel series and the many remakes and new interpretations of ageless fairytales show us that there is still something in us that wants to dream, to believe.

                                                Fairytales are not so much about dragons, magic or fantastical lands but about us, about our deepest desires, fears and hopes.

                                                They help us make sense of a world that can be overwhelming, chaotic and seemingly random. They give us a sense of purpose, of destiny, of possibility.


                                                Often people dismiss fairytales and talk of magic and mystery as being for children or the gullible and naive but it is quite the opposite, for it takes a brave heart to believe in something that can’t be proven.

                                                It takes a open mind and clear eyes to see the beauty all around us and even clearer eyes to see the beauty that is yet unseen.


                                                I urge you to look up to the skies, to see beyond the horizon, to let yourself dream…


                                                And if someone asks me ‘Do you believe in Dragons, in Once Upon a Time and Fairies living at the bottom of the garden?’ My answer will be ‘Always’.



                                                How to make Lush Inspired Shower Jellies & The Many Remarkable Uses of Egg Shells!


                                                So having a shower is just about getting clean as fast as possible? Nope! These days, its a way to wake up, soothe the senses, nourish your skin and more recently to awaken your childhood sense of wonder and play!!:)

                                                One awesome way to bring more joy and fun into your shower routine is to make your own DIY Lush inspired Shower Jellies! Super easy to make and they look, smell and feel great 🙂


                                                • Gelatin Powder [I used two Sachets 12mg each] There are vegetarian options available also.
                                                • Water
                                                • Hand Soap or Shower Gel
                                                • Food Colouring [Optional]
                                                • A Mold
                                                • Mixing Bowl
                                                • Spoon
                                                • 1 teaspoon of salt
                                                • Essential Oils (Optional)
                                                • Glitter Or Eyeshadow Pigment (Optional)



                                                • In a mixing bowl, first add the gelatin powder and then the water. …
                                                • Add the shower gel to the gelatine mixture. …I used Original Source Shower Gel which is not tested on animals but you can use any favourite shower gel
                                                • Add an essential oil of your choice and/or a drop or two of food coloring, if desired. .
                                                • Mix in the salt.
                                                • Pour the mixture into the silicon mould, then put the mould in the refrigerator.
                                                • Enjoy! 🙂

                                                I recently learnt a mind-blowing fact, did you know that eggshells are a great, inexpensive, natural source of calcium & have many awesome uses?

                                                An egg shell is made of calcium carbonate. Each medium sized egg shell has about 750-800 mgs of calcium.

                                                ***Important, buy only Free Range Organic Eggs, farm fresh if possible***


                                                Eggshells can be used in:

                                                • Homemade Toothpaste to remineralise your teeth and heal cavities
                                                • Face Masks
                                                • As a totally natural calcuim supplement
                                                • To start off Seedlings
                                                • To deter slugs and snails
                                                • In Art
                                                • To enrich your compost


                                                  How to Make Eggshell Calcium and Why You’d Want To

                                                  Calcium is the most abundant mineral in our body.

                                                  While most of our calcium resides in our bones and teeth, it’s also important for muscle contraction, nerve health, enzyme activity and cell formation.

                                                  In fact, our bodies need ample, daily amounts of calcium… and if we don’t get what we need, our bodies have no problem pulling excess stores from our teeth and bones, which is obviously not a good thing!



                                                • Use up your eggs as you usually would, keeping the shell in the carton to make your supplement
                                                • When you have your dozen shells, rinse them well in water. Remove any whites that might be stuck but don’t remove membrane as these have extra nutrients.
                                                • Fill a stock pot with approximately 6 cups of water and bring to a boil.
                                                • Carefully put your eggshells into the water. (This will kill any harmful pathogens)
                                                • Let sit for 10 minutes.
                                                • Drain shells.
                                                • Spread the shells on a baking tray and let dry overnight. In the morning, put in a warm oven for about 10 minutes to completely dry out.
                                                • Once they are dry, put a few shells into a coffee grinder and run until they are pulverized into a fine powder. Continue until all of your shells are powder.
                                                • Store in a tightly sealed glass jar in the cupboard away from heat or moisture.
                                                • How to Consume Eggshell Calcium

                                                  1 tsp. contains approximately 800-1,000 mg. of calcium. Consume by mixing in a small amount of water with a meal or with a smoothie or yoghurt.


                                                There are so many ways to use eggshells, I will keep you up to date on all the ways I test out myself.

                                                On a interesting note, I came across a a belief in folk lore, that eggshells were buried or burned in healing spells (often after having been carried by the patient so the eggshells “absorbed” the illness). Eggshell powder can be used for protection spells too.

                                                Eggshells also make a good womb symbol in which energy can be nurtured to maturity. Be sure to consider the colour of the eggshell. For instance, use blue eggshells to nurture peace and joy.

                                                Next Time

                                                21et20nI will be talking about the role and significance of Magic in our lives, my endeavours to convince my hair to grow and the importance of enjoying your food! 🙂




                                                Foraging on the Banks of Lough Atalia in Galway, How to make Honeysuckle Ice Cream and other Nectar of the Gods


                                                Last Sunday, I went foraging in the lush wild meadow that runs along the side of Lough Atalia, the small lake that runs to the sea in Galway harbour. It was a stunning day, I felt almost light headed with the scent of wild flowers, fresh running water and the earth warmed by the heat of the midday sun.

                                                Two swans followed me for a while and the meadow hummed with the sound of happy bees drinking nectar. A ladybird landed near me on a patch of clover and small wild birds called and flew overhead. 


                                                Everywhere I looked, I was overwhelmed by the incredible bounty of nature, I felt like how a child must feel in Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. I didn’t know where to start, so many colours, scents, textures called to me. My attention was snagged by the most magnificent bush of Wild Roses and braving the thorns, I gathered some petals to make Rosewater, a recipe which I will include in my next post.


                                                The flowers were as big as a child’s hand and the petals as soft as pure silk and the scent, oh my word, the scent, if only I could breathe in that scent all of my days…


                                                The heart of the meadow was a sea of colour composed of every shade of red and pink and green and all the colours in between. Red Clover was all around me, as far as the eye could see. I gathered several stems and the flower heads.


                                                I will be using Red Clover to make a healing tea, cream, salve, syrup…So many things, it is such a remarkable herb.

                                                White Clover 3

                                                There was also White Clover, not as profuse and much more delicate then its red cousin but also beautiful. It has a subtle sweet taste that makes for a lovely syrup for use in a cordial.


                                                Its late in the year for Dandelion but I found some clumps in the more shady areas of the meadow and harvested the young leaves for smoothies, salads and the flowers to make honey. Once autumn is here, I’m going to dig up as many dandelion roots as possible for making coffee.


                                                I found Plantain along the waters edge, its distinctive narrow leaves and long seed laden heads nodding in the breeze coming off the lake. I have started a mason jar infusion of Plantain and Oil for healing creams but Plantain has so many other uses as well. I will talk more about this next week.


                                                I was lucky to come across a patch of Horsetail, which often grows near water and has been around since the time of the Dinosaurs. It has many uses but one of its most well known is its wonderful ability to stimulate hair growth. A simple hair rinse can be made by washing the stems of horsetail to get rid of any soil or insects, place in a large glass bowl and pour boiling water over the plant. Leave overnight,compost the stems and then after washing your hair, pour over your head and dry hair as usual.


                                                Meadowsweet otherwise known as the Queen of the Meadow was scattered here and there. I made a syrup from the flowers to use to create a sorbet or simply to pour over ice cream or pancakes as a delicious treat.



                                                One of my most favourite wild flower are Daisies. They can be found everywhere, in all shapes and sizes and colours but their purity and innocence instantly transport me back to my childhood and memories of making daisy chains as crowns and garlands. Daisies make a lovely addition to any homemade skin creams.


                                                I found several sprays of Milk Thistle and am currently drying these and some of the other herbs I gathered for use. I am looking forward to finding ways to use Milk Thistle to heal both myself and those I care for.

                                                Smiling Mouse on YarrowThe next herb I came across was Yarrow, one of the most ancient and sacred of all plants in the lore of herbs, a plant with many fascinating abilities. I have dried the small amount I found and will be keeping a keen eye out for more to stock up before the winter.


                                                Another lovely herb I across was Self Heal, a plant long used for healing wounds and infections, as well as sore throats.


                                                I spent three wondrous hours beside the lake and by the time I returned home, I was suntanned and windswept, all my cobwebs blown away. I laid my herbs out in the sun on my balcony to dry and for any insects to flee.

                                                In the end, I found over thirteen different herbs in the space of an afternoon in just one of the meadows on the banks of Lough Atalia. I was awed by how only a short walk from my apartment in Galway city, I was able to find so many remarkable healing plants. I think, living in a city, many people forget to look, to seek out the wilderness that grows up from between the cracks and finds itself a home in even the most starkly urban of places.

                                                It is truly amazing what you can find and all this goodness, beauty and healing is free. I love to go foraging but always remember to only take what you need and to give thanks for its blessings.

                                                Its late and I grow weary but let me finish this feast of the senses with all things Honeysuckle.


                                                I will leave you with two divine recipes I found online using this most exotic flower with its otherworldly nectar and golden blossoms.


                                                Honeysuckle Ice Cream

                                                From the website:


                                                • 1 and a half cups heavy cream
                                                • 1 cup whole milk
                                                • 1/2 cup sugar
                                                • 2 cups honeysuckle blossoms (this is approximate)
                                                • seeds from 1 vanilla bean



                                                • Put the cream, milk and sugar into a saucepan and stir to dissolve the sugar.
                                                • Add the honeysuckle flowers into the pan and and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
                                                • Turn off the heat and let the mixture come to room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate overnight.
                                                • In the morning, strain the blossoms out and add the vanilla bean seeds. Mix well to break apart any clumped seeds.
                                                • Process the cold mixture in your ice cream machine according to its directions.
                                                • Put the soft ice cream in the freezer to firm up before serving.



                                                Honeysuckle Sorbet


                                                5 cups cool water

                                                4 cups honeysuckle blossoms, tightly packed but not smashed

                                                2 cups sugar

                                                1 cup water

                                                Few drops lemon juice

                                                Dusting of cinnamon


                                                Add cool tap water to flowers. Place in a glass bowl and leave overnight.

                                                The next day, make a simple syrup by heating sugar and 1 cup of water in a saucepan over low heat until the mixture is clear, then boiling it for a minute or so, until the syrup begins to appear lustrous and slightly thick.

                                                Remove from heat and add a few drops of lemon juice to prevent the sugar from recrystallizing. Cool the syrup.

                                                Strain the honeysuckles, gently pressing the blossoms so as not to waste any of your efforts.

                                                Combine the honeysuckle and the simple syrup and add just the merest dusting of ground cinnamon — a hint will enhance the honeysuckle flavor; even a bit more will overpower it.

                                                Put the mix in a glass baking dish, let it freeze a little, stir and smash with a fork. Wait another couple of hours and do the same thing until it’s almost frozen through, then put it all in a blender. It needs to be taken out of the freezer a few minutes before you serve.

                                                Bon Appetit! 🙂


                                                Foraging in the City: How to make Herb & Flower Infused Oils at home, as well as Uplifting Eucalyptus & Mint Shaving Cream

                                                l1.jpg.galleryForaging in the city can be truly enjoyable, challenging and always rewarding. The joy and satisfaction of making your own remedies, cosmetics and food from herbs and flowers you gathered yourself  is immeasurable.

                                                The heart of summer is an excellent time to gather your herbs for making creams, balms, salves, oils, tinctures, tonics, teas and other necessities for the winter ahead.

                                                I recommend going out at midday when the sun is at the highest point, as this is when the flowers will be fully open and at their most potent. Living in the city, foraging is a bit more difficult but parks, small patches of wilderness and river sides are all good places to search. Make sure to only pick flowers away from traffic fumes.


                                                How to make St. John’s Wort Oil


                                                • Two to three handfuls of fresh St.John’s Wort Flowers
                                                • Olive Oil or Rapeseed Oil



                                                • Glass Mason Jar
                                                • Muslin Cloth for straining
                                                • Sieve
                                                • Glass Jug
                                                • Glass Bottle to store Finished Oil


                                                • Gather two to three handfuls of Fresh St.John’s Wort Flowers
                                                • Wash throughly
                                                • Leave to dry overnight on a Tea Towel
                                                • Fill your clean Mason Jar with the flowers
                                                • Pour enough oil to completely submerge the flowers
                                                • Close lid and place on a sunny windowsill for a month
                                                • Clean the lid every second day to prevent mould
                                                • After a month has passed and your oil has turned a bright cherry red, it is time to filter
                                                • Place muslin cloth over a sieve over a glass jug or bowl
                                                • Pour the oil in
                                                • Squeeze out any oil left from the flowers using the muslin cloth
                                                • Pour into Clean Sterilized Glass bottles and label with the date bottled.
                                                • Store in a cool dry place.


                                                • Use the oil directly on skin for inflamed painful joints
                                                • Use the oil as the base for healing creams, salves and ointments



                                                How to make Plantain Oil


                                                • One to three handfuls of Wild Fresh Plantain Leaves
                                                • Olive Oil


                                                • Glass Mason Jar
                                                • Muslin Cloth for straining
                                                • Sieve
                                                • Glass Jug
                                                • Glass Bottle to store Finished Oil




                                                • Gather two to three handfuls of Fresh Plantain Leaves
                                                • Wash throughly
                                                • Leave to dry overnight on a Tea Towel
                                                • Fill your clean Mason Jar with the leaves
                                                • Pour enough oil to completely submerge the leaves
                                                • Close lid and place on a sunny windowsill for a month
                                                • Clean the lid every second day to prevent mould
                                                • After a month has passed and your oil has turned a dark green,  it is time to filter
                                                • Place muslin cloth over a sieve over a glass jug or bowl
                                                • Pour the oil in
                                                • Squeeze out any oil left from the flowers using the muslin cloth
                                                • Pour into Clean Sterilized Glass bottles and label with the date bottled.
                                                • Store in a cool dry place.




                                                • Use as a healing First Aid cream and salve
                                                • Use as base for own homemade Soaps
                                                • Use as base for lotions and body butters
                                                • Use in Body Scrubs



                                                Eucalyptus and Mint Shaving Cream



                                                • Half a cup of Organic Shea Butter
                                                • Half a cup of Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
                                                • Half a cup of Olive Oil
                                                • One Tablespoon of Witch Hazel
                                                • One Tablespoon of Aloe Vera Gel
                                                • Ten drops of Eucalyptus essential Oil
                                                • Ten drops of Mint essential Oil




                                                • Place the Shea Butter, Coconut oil and Olive oil in a glass bowl over a saucepan of water
                                                • Stir gently until it is fully melted
                                                • Allow to cool for half a hour
                                                • Stir in the Aloe Vera Gel, Witch Hazel and essential oils
                                                • Place in your fridge until solid
                                                • Using an electric whisk, beat until light and fluffy
                                                • Spoon into a clean glass jar and label
                                                • Use as needed as you would any shaving cream and enjoy clean fresh and moistened skin! 🙂



                                                Next Time

                                                I will be going foraging again tomorrow, weather permitting along the lake and will be talking about all the wonderful plants I’m sure I will find! 🙂


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